Diede de Groot
Date of birth: December 19th 1996
Residence: Oudewater (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Started playing tennis: at 7 years of age
Turned professional: at 17 years of age
Trainer/coach: Amanda Hopmans
Number of training hours per week: 20
Favourite surface: hardcourt
Playing hand: right-handed
Sporting dreams: staying the world’s number one wheelchair tennisplayer, winning grand slam titles and winning a paralympic championship
Present rankings: see website ITF for the actual ranking
Diede was born on December 19th 1996 in a hospital in Woerden, Netherlands. Soon enough her legs turned out to be unequal in length. Her upper right leg was shorter and the hip proved to be not properly aligned. On her first birthday Diede was given her first prosthesis and soon after she was able to make her first steps. To stabilise her hip even more, Diede was operated upon several times but because of the big difference in length of her legs she will always depend on a prosthesis.
Getting acquainted with tennis
At seven, after obtaining her swimming diplomas, Diede very much wanted to learn how to play tennis. As she was not dependent on a wheelchair in daily life, her choice for wheelchair tennis was a difficult one. On the advice of rehabilitation centre ‘De Hoogstraat’, she took this step anyway.
Steps to the top
After years of training in wheelchair mobility, racket and ball agility and gaining competition experience, at the age of 12 Diede was invited for the Dutch national junior wheelchair selection. At the time she already played together with the ladies at a national level and eventually reached an international number one ranking with the juniors.
Life as a full-time top tennis player
After her HAVO graduation in 2015 Diede decided to become a full-time wheelchair tennis player.Since that day Diede’s life is all about sport. Diede combines her trainings supervised bij Amanda Hopmans in Alphen aan de Rijn with those given by Dennis Sporrel of KNLTB in Amstelveen. Her fitst goal as a professional tennis player was qualifying for the Paralympics in Rio in 2016.
Soon after that she won her first Grand Slam title and reached the world number one position in 2018. And so, Diede still has many dreams and goals which she works very hard for. At present her main goal is the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021.